A site dedicated to the proper care and general information of mute swans

“The Swans have become such a big part of our Life.
They have brought us Joy, Laughter, Smiles, Worry,
Peace, Aggravation, Knowledge, Comfort, Tears,
Patience, and an Appreciation of True Beauty.
– A New Swan CareTaker… 2015-2016

Swans are NOT Lawn Ornaments

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Captive Swans are Pets.

They Need a Safe Home, Proper Food, Lots of Water.

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

With Care, Some Luck and a Good Diet
Swans may Live 20-30+ Years.  

Lawn Ornament Swan

They Would NOT Feed Him..
He is Gone.Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

Lawn Ornament Swan

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger January  2017

Mute Swan Cygnets

January 29th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swan Cygnets - (0 Comments)

Mute Swan Cygnets

Mute Swan Cygnets

Spoiling the Eggs as Management

Spoiling Eggs

Mute Swans – Eggs Hatching

Swan Eggs Hatching

Mute Swans – BIG EGGS

Clutch of Mute Swan Eggs




Buying Swan


Buying Swan

Buying Swan

Buying Swan

Breeder Injured Cygnets


Buying Swan


 IF you are going to SPEND for Swan Pets…..
Do Some Research – Ask for References.

Buying Swan


When a SWAN Has a Lump/Bump Under their Chin..

This CAN be more Serious then You Might Think. 


Sublingual Entrapment

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

    Sublingual Impaction in WaterFowl
(Under the Tongue)

General Description
Bulge Visible Externally, Under the Chin.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

 A Wad of Grass and other Things the Swan was Eating
becomes Lodged
Under the Tongue in the Stretchy Chin Pouch.

Under Tongue Impaction

                **  CLICK on Photos to ENLARGE Images **

Under Tongue Impaction

When a Bulge or Protruding Lump is Observed under a Swan’s Chin… it NEEDs Attention.


Normal Swans

As we have been out and about Visiting with Swans and their Owners, we have observed several Swans with these Bulges under their Chins.

Chin Impaction
Some of the Swan Owners thought this was a Tumor..
and there was nothing they would be able to do..

Under Tongue Impaction

Some Swans are prone to this and it becomes a Chronic Problem for them.  Ingesting DRY Fibrous Foods may be a Major Predisposing Factor for Sublinqual Impactions to Form.

Under Tongue Impaction

Some Swans only need help once in a great while to remove this “Stuff.”

Swan Under Chin Impaction

If you Remove the “Wad” of Material when the Bulge under the Chin is Small, the Skin will not Stretch into a Loose Pouch under the Chin.

Chin Impaction

Under Tongue Impactions may occur in both Captive and Wild Swans..  This is easily Visible… A Bulging Pocket under the Chin.

The following SWAN Species seem Prone:
– Cygnus olor – Mute Swan and their Cygnets
– Cygnus atratus – Black Australian Swan and their Cygnets

Under Chin Impaction Swan

Mute Swan Flat Chin

The Chin of a Swan should be FLAT…

Chin Impaction

Swan Flat Chin

Some Breeds of Geese with Dewlap are also prone to Impactions.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction
I have observed some Swans swinging their heads, trying to get this material out..

Under Tongue Impaction
There is likely a WAD of material under the Tongue.. an Impaction.

Chin Impaction

Common Item in the Impaction:

The “STUFF” can be Lots of things found in your Swans World.

Fibrous Grass, Small Roots, Twigs, Fragments of Leaves, Feed, Sand, Soil, Mud, Gravel, Animal Hair, Feather Fibers, String,
Stiff Floating Pine Needles, etc, etc, etc.   Almost Anything.

Short Fibrous GrassSwan Pine Needles  Many Ponds and Lakes are Lined with Pine Trees.
Pond Pine Trees
There seems to be an increased incidence of this when Swans are eating Feed, Plant Material, Grasses and Soil without Water.

Under Tongue Impaction

This “Plug of Junk” under the Tongue can result in increasing difficulty Eating and Drinking.  And Eventually Pressure Necrosis.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

The Swan affected may slowly Starve.. Weaken and Die..     (Severely Under Weight)

 Swan Under Tongue Impaction

 Swan Under Tongue Impaction

Common Visual Signs include difficulty Swallowing, Ventral
Intermandibular Swelling and Chronic to Severe Impactions.
The Swan below has the Severe Signs..  His Cheeks are Swollen.

Chin Impaction

One Sign the Swan is in TROUBLE is when a Mature Mute Swan has a Flat Knob.  This is a Visual Sign that the Swan is Under Weight..
It is having difficulty Eating.

 Swan Under Tongue Impaction

The Impaction below is a Collection of Roots, Mud, Small Stones, Grass Blades and a few Clover Stems. You can not see the SMELL.

Under Swan Tongue Impaction

This Lodged Material will slowly Ferment, ROT, Support Nasty Bacteria and the Poor Swan will have this Smelly Material Squishing in its Mouth/Beak each time it tries to Eat or Drink.. YUCK !!

Swan Under Chin Impaction

Over Time the Rotting Material may break-down and Invade the underside of the Tongue or the Chin Tissues. This will Result in an infection of the Mouth Tissues.. causing Tissue Pressure Necrosis.

Under Tongue Impaction

At this stage the Swans will definitely need Veterinary Help.. likely Surgery..      Weeks of Recovery with Antibiotics.

 Swan Under Tongue Impaction

DO YOUR BEST to Remove these Impactions when you see them and whenever it reoccurs to reduce Risk of Permanent Dilatation under the Tongue.  If the Impaction is left, or frequently reoccurs, Surgery may be needed to remove the Loose Stretch Skin that fills with Debris easily.

Chin Impaction

Under Swan Tongue Impaction

Under Tongue Impaction

The BIGGEST most Challenging thing you need to do is Catch the Swan.  If you can Walk your Swan into a Fenced Area and/or Catch/Net the Swan on Land..  that is the Easiest for EVERYOne..

Catching Swan

Catching Swan

Catching Swan

Catching a Swan on Water is the Most Challenging.
Be Sure You Follow Proper Safety Rules..  LIFE Jackets.

Catching Swan

Catching Swan

   One or Two People in Quick moving Kayaks HELPS! 

Catching Swan

Having Two or Three or Four People is very helpful…

Catching SwanCatching SwanCatching SwanCatching SwanCatching Swan

Canoes and Row Boats are TOO Slow to Tire the Swans. 

Catching Swan

Catching Swan

Catching Swan Several Helpers Ready to Net and Calm to Swan..
One to hold the Swan and Another to Remove the Impacted Material.

Catching SwanSwan Under Tongue Impaction

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

You WANT Your Swans to have FLAT Chins… 

It is EASY Once You have Hold of Your Swan. 

Under Tongue Impaction

Swans have VERY Little Bite Pressure – Gently Open the Beak.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction
Either lift the Nail or Apply a Little Pressure to the both sides of the Jaw Hinge.
Open Swan Beak

Under Tongue Impaction

Gently PUSH UP under the Chin.. the Material from under the Tongue.    Sweep it out..
(I use my Fingers and Wash Later.)
It is too Risky to use Metal Tweezers – the Swan will not hold Still.
Check that there is nothing left under the Tongue.

Check the Tongue’s Color..  It should be a nice Baby Pink..

SWAN Tongue Color-Anemia Guide

If there is any Tissue Damage or Ulcerations on the Tongue or the Skin Pouch Under the Tongue..  This can be Serious…
Check with your Avian Veterinarian for further Treatment Advice.

Chin Impaction

If you have a chance to keep the Swan from eating Short Cut Grass for a while after you remove a Plug.. this may give the stretched “Pouch” time to return to normal..

Floating Salad Greens

Giving Lots of Lettuce or Soft Vegetable Foods on the Pond Water may help reduce the Risk of Re-Impaction..

Under Tongue Impaction

ALSO very Helpful… Try NOT to Cut the Swans’ Grazing Area Very Short…

Longer Grazing Grass

Swans enjoy grazing on Tender Grass Blades..
They need the Vegetation/Plant Material for their Digestive System..

Lawn Clover
Swans benefit from the Insects in Grassy Places.
(Crunchy Munchies)

Pennsylvania Meadow Katydid
Consider Alternating the Grass Area you Cut into Three Parts.
Cut One Area this Week.. leave the other Two Areas Grow..

Swan Under Chin Impaction
Then Next Week Cut the longest, Shaggy Area.. leaving the Other Two..
Rotate so there are some Grassy Areas with Longer Tender New Growth..

Mute Swans of Summer


AS Time Goes By – And We Meet and Visit More Swans
and their Owners..
We SEE more Swans with Under Tongue Impactions..

THIS is a VERY Common Problem with Captive Swans..
Many People who Care for Swans are UnAware..
Swan Under Chin ImpactionThis Junk may collect in a matter of Weeks to Months.

This is Fairly Easy to Correct.  These Swans are Uncomfortable.
The Rotting Material under their Tongue makes Eating Difficult and Nasty..  This can lead to Tissue Destruction under the Tongue.
Infection, Wasting, Starvation to Death.  HELP Your Swans.

REMOVE SUBINGUAL – Under Tongue Impactions..

More Examples….     WE Helped Removed these….

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

This Cob has had Impactions Removed Several Times.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction


We Found this Young Female with a Large Impaction.
We Helped the Owner Remove this..

Swan Under Tongue Impaction

Swan Under Tongue Impaction


This Poor Cob was Struggling
to Swallow with this LARGE Impaction.

Swan Under Tongue Impaction


Another Swan with an Large Impaction under the Tongue.
The Knob is VERY Flat..  This Swan is Starving..

Swan Under Tongue Impaction


   YOUR SWANS will be Healthier with a FLAT CHIN.. 

Swan Under Chin

Swan Healthy Chin Image


This is a Work in Progress… Updated along the Way..
Information Compiled by (C) Linda M.Sweger   Jan.2018

StarBug@comcast.net        (717) 732-6216


Mute Swans Nesting

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans Nesting - (0 Comments)

Observing Nesting Swans is a Magical Time.

From Watching them Build their BIG Messy Nest to
Seeing them Care For and Protect their Eggs to 
The Tiny Downy Cygnets that Hatch in the Spring.

Mute Swans Nesting 

Bless Nesting Swans

Swans NestingThe BIG Messy Nest

Mute Swans Nesting

Mute Swan Eggs

 St.Francis Garden Nest


This will be Developed as Time Allows.


Information and Images Collected by Linda M.Sweger


BIG Beautiful, Graceful Swans are a Delight to Behold.

Once we Pinion or Clip to Ground them,
they depend on their Caretakers to Provide a Healthy Diet.
Captive Swans are Domestic Pets.

Feeding Swans
Click on Images to Enlarge


Over the Years I have heard “Swans are Wild Waterfowl.
Nature will Provide. They will find the food they need and do not need supplemental feed. ”

Captive Mute Swans

This misconception seems to come from various sources..
Some Breeders may live in areas where there is year round food materials in their Pond.  Lots of Plant growth, Insects, Tadpoles, Worms, Snails, Grubs, etc.  They pass this information on to others without looking at the BIG Picture.

Natural Creek

The remaining Feral Mute Swans living in the United States will, on average, have a Territory Range of 3 to 5 SQUARE Miles that they will access for their nutritional needs. In warmer States there may be plenty of vegetation, grains and insects year round.

Migrating Tundra Swans

This is why the Canadian Tundra and Trumpeter Swans migrate during the Fall to areas they know will provide food for themselves and their growing Cygnets.

Mute Swans in Winter

Mute Swans are NOT migratory Waterfowl.. They will stay in their territory year round their entire adult life, unless something significant changes for them… loss of habitat, loss of a mate…
chronic harassment.  Mute Swan will fly/move to open water in Winter months if their normal Water Environment freezes.

Their absence during Nesting Season may cause some Folks to think the Mute Swans have migrated. Feral-Wild Mute Swans will generally seek a more private location to Nest.

Mute Swans Nesting

For whatever reason: “Mute Swans do not Nest where they Live, and they do not Live where they Nest.”

For two months, Feral Mute Swans will likely find a private place to Mate, Nest and Hatch their Brood of Cygnets. The location may only be a half mile or so away from their normal range. They are likely to return to their normal territory once their Nest is “Closed” for the Season.

Mute Swan Nest

In the parts of the Country where Winter Climate causes plant material to become dormant, Feral Mute Swans will have a much harder time finding satisfactory food. If they are caring for first year Cygnets.. this may cause the smaller Cygnets to weaken and die from starvation.

Mute Swans Winter

I have watched Feral Mute Swans attempt to eat the decaying vegetation and leaves they find in shallow water; the same plants that provided food during the warmer seasons. This organic material will have some small food value, there may be a few calories left in the decaying fibers.

Hungry Waterfowl will pick at field and lawn grasses attempting to find some calories.. something to fill their Gizzard. During warm weather, lawn and field grasses will yield tasty insects.

When there is Snow Cover on lawns and fields, they will not even have this meager food source.
Swans Snow Covered Lawn

All living Creatures can live for a period of time without adequate food, as long as they have water to drink.  Swans living on Ponds/Lakes have water.. but, food may be very scarce.
Swan Winter Feed

Swans are warm blooded Creatures, they have a metabolism like all warm blooded Creatures. When food is limited or absence they will slow down, try to conserve and convert their body fat, muscle proteins – losing weight the same as any Animal or Human.
Healthy Mute SwanUnderweight Mute Swan

Wild/Free Waterfowl will generally fly in search of food. Pinioned/Captive/Fenced Waterfowl that are starving will become increasingly desperate and will eat increasing amounts of mud and soft topsoil. There are some organic materials in mud and topsoil… hopefully a few dormant insect grubs, worms, snails, etc.

If this goes on too long, the Gizzard may become “sand bound.” Topsoil and mud contains silica/sand.

Sand feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers.
Birds/Waterfowl regularly ingest small amounts of grit to aid digestion of the food in their Gizzard. Eating small amounts of dirt, mud is normal. When digestible food is absent for long periods of time, the Gizzard may become “sand bound.”

Once this happens there is no room for digestible food…. death from Starvation will likely follow.
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. The composition of sand is highly
variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions. The most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and
non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz. Sand is not digestible. It will pass through a bird’s digestive system along with the plant fiber of their normal diet.
Until now, I was referring to Feral Mute Swans living in a 3-5 square miles range.

Next, I want to discuss Captive Swans living in the care of Human Caretakers.  Living in a much smaller Environment.

Captive Mute Swans

Captive Swans are no different then Pet Dogs, Cats, Horses, etc.  They need to EAT.

All Animals and Birds we bring into our lives are subject to a wide range of care. From the total care of Pets that become cherished members of our Family life, to Farm Live Stock raised for their Meat, Milk, Eggs, etc.   ..To the sad neglected, forgotten, discarded, abused animal cruelty cases we see on various TV Animal Rescue Programs.
Feeding Swans

Folks who have appropriate Water Environments to care for Swans, may desire to have them for various reasons. Not all People will take the time to research Swans so they are prepared to provide appropriate care.

Swan Poor Diet

The Swans I worry about are ones chosen to be living Lawn and Pond Ornaments. The striking beauty of graceful Swans will enhance any property. The novelty of having Swans may pass and neglect is likely to follow. Swans are a commitment. They may easily live 25-35 years or longer with good care and some luck.

Healthy Male Mute Swan
Swan Under Tongue Impaction  This Swan needed Help.. The Under Tongue/Chin Impaction was preventing her from Eating.
Swan Under Chin Impaction Under Tongue-Chin Impaction


If you tire of Swan care, re-home them to another interested Person.
NEVER release a Swan into the environment. NEVER..
It is illegal all across the United States and Canada to deliberately release a Mute Swan or their growing Cygnets.
Discarded Pet Swans will likely be destroyed.

Discarded Pet Swan            This Gentle Swan was Shot a Hunter in 2008.

There are so many different Regulation governing the Ownership of Mute Swans from State to State, You will need to check the Codes, Policies and Rules for your State..
Where to Find Mute Swan Information for Your State

“Can Animal Rights Be Legally Defined?”
In 1978 the HSUS, Humane Society of the United States defined Animal Rights.
“Animals have the right to live and grow under conditions that are comfortable and reasonably natural.  Animals that are used by man in any way have the right to be free from abuse, pain, and torment caused or permitted by man. Animals that are domesticated or whose natural environment is altered by man have the right to receive from man adequate food, shelter, and care.”

Pinioned Mute Swan

Pinioning any Waterfowl… changes everything.
In the U.S. Swans “Owned” by Humans are generally pinioned to restrict their ability to roam at large.
They are Classified as:
Captive, Domestic, Exotic, Poultry. (Not Wild)
Like ALL Animals and Birds living in Captivity.
They are entitled to:     1. Adequate and Appropriate Food
–                                        2. Adequate Fresh Water
–                                        3. Appropriate Shelter
–                                        4. Reasonable Safety from Harm
–                                        5. Veterinary Care when needed.

The first rule for keeping Swans in the location you want them…. is
–                             #1. “Feed them and they will Stay.”

Feeding Your Swans is not a Guarantee they will stay on your Pond. Adequate Food is a BIG Part of their Comfort.
Feeding Swans

Swans on a Private Pond are somewhere between Captive and Free.

“They do NOT Read the Books” about their expected Behavior.
Swans will have many Surprises as you enjoy their Beauty and learn about them.

Mother Nature has evolved Birds/WaterFowl to be able to do some amazing things. Living without Food is not one..

Imagine watching these Captive, Graceful Birds, unable to tell their Caretakers that they are Hungry. Respect and Good Care will allow Swans to enjoy living with us/you for a long time.

Swan Diet

Spread the WORD…. Swans need to Eat.

Living on a totally natural One Acre Pond with NO Chemicals altering the Plant Growth and Insects is recommended for one Pair of Adult Mute Swans.

Natural Rural Pond    The Swan can Graze during the Summer on Yummy Stuff.
Feeding Swans

The uses of Lawn Care Products, Insect Controls and Fertilizers changes the Natural Balance.
Feeding Swans
Underwater plants may not be sufficient, the lack of Insects will impact Protein and Calcium resources.
Organic Pond Run Off
Fertilizers and Animal Waste Run-off will create Organic changes to a Pond/Lake allowing for a wide variety of unwanted Plant growth.
Big Subject…. LOTS of variations.
Feeding Swans

Waterfowl/Swans may be able to help control some nuisance Plants.. like Algae, Duckweed and Watermeal.. but, they still need other nutrients in their year round diet.

Pond Watermeal Duckweed

Mute Swans can live a very long time with good care. The less they need to dig in the mud/dirt for nutrition, the less chance they will acquire Parasites. During warm dry months, stagnant muddy water will put Waterfowl at risk of fatal Clostridia bacteria.

Providing a Container of Fresh Clean Water would seem helpful… But, Waterfowl will still Drink the Pond/Lake Water.

Mute Swan Mud

It is BEST to avoid Bread. DO NOT ALLOW others to feed your Swans Bread. There is little to no nourishment in white Bread for Waterfowl. White Bread is poorly digested, causing indigestion and bloating. Yeast may grow in the Gizzard causing chronic digestion problems. Bread is high in sugar and salt taxing the birds’ kidneys and other organs.

During the Summer months Bread is a dangerous food for Waterfowl. Molds growing on Bread may be fatal. Some molds will cause fatal “Limber Neck” disease. Once the toxic mold is in the Swan, there is very little you can do to reverse these debilitating toxic secretions. The mortality rate is very high. The Swan becomes weak, can not hold their Neck up.. become limp.

If they are in the Water, they may drown.
On Land, the weakness will affect their ability to breathe.

The Hazards of feeding BREAD to Swans/Waterfowl

If YOU want to feed them Bread, then ONLY during Cold Winter months (Fall Frost to Last Spring Frost). Buy FRESH, Freeze and Feed one slice per day of coarse grain or wholemeal Bread with seeds and grains incorporated into the Bread is a better option. The grain seeds give them some extra oils, which aid the absorption of Fat Soluble Vitamins – like Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B12, folic acid, …all important for good health.

If you Enjoy having Swans, the BEST thing you can do for them is provide a wide variety of food items.

Choose a good Commercial Feed:
**NON-Medicated **Poultry Maintenance Feed
–                                  Mixed to keep the Protein Level LOW.

We have been using **Southern States 18% Waterfowl Floating Pellets for over Two Years. Good Usage – Little Waste.

Floating Waterfowl Pellets

Keep the Lysine level LOW – Less the 1%
Avoid Yeast, Sugar and Salt.

Swans will need more Supplemental Food during Cold Weather.
Depending on the Winter conditions, Swans will need more Calories when they are subject to Winter’s Cold Temperatures. They need daily Food for the Quick Energy Calories to keep Warm.
Feeding Winter Swans

Swans Cereal Snack MixSwans Cereal Snack MixSwans are Grazers not Gobblers. They naturally eat small amounts throughout the day. Since they are programmed to fly, they will not over eat. Every extra ounce their body does not need will make flight more difficult. When their diet is not balanced, they may over eat starchy grains, trying to get the minerals and vitamins their body’s are craving.

Mute Swans Grazing

The Bone Structure of Birds is a light-weight scaffolding. There is just enough minerals to form rigid bone.

Female Swans need extra Calcium Rich Feeds. Females give-up Calcium to coat their large Eggs. Once the Cygnets hatch, the Female may ingest the Shells to reclaim some of this Calcium.
BIG Swan Eggs

If the Female is not able to eat these Shells due to some loss of the Eggs – flooding, spoiling, egg predation or management removal
she will benefit from your help.
Mute Swan Nest

To help supply her needs, it is a very good practice to start, in January, adding some Egg Layer Feed to the regular Feed Mix.
The Eggs she lays will be stronger and she will not need to sacrifice as much Calcium from her body.
Mute Swan Eggs

Once her Cygnets hatch, the Female Swan is HUNGRY for everything. A Good Balanced Feed Mix, with some extra Calcium, will help her body recover from the five long weeks of “Sitting” with very little to eat.
Nesting Female Swan

Swans are Grazers.. they Nibble all day.

Because their neck is long and slender, Swans like to have water with every bite to make swallowing easier.

Mute Swans Grazing

When Food-Feed is only available once or twice a day, shared from a tub or bucket for assorted Waterfowl, a Swan will Gobble in a hurry knowing there will be nothing until the bucket is filled the next day.

Feeding SwansFeeding Swans
Eating TOO Fast his Neck is Bulging.
Feeding SwansThis is not normal eating behavior for a Swan.
This is the way Ducks and Geese eat.. they are Gobblers.
Migrating DucksMigrating WaterFowl may Bring Diseases to Your Pond.

Try to find a Way to feed your Swans so they do not need to leave the Water. They are SAFEST in the Water.
Swans WANT Water with their Feed-Food.

Feed Swan in Water
Try to Find a Place you will be SAFE
Servicing their Food in the Winter.
Some Feeding Ideas. Things to think about.
Nice to vary feeding for the Swans…

Swan Vegetarian
In addition to a Healthy Feed Mixture remember Swans are Vegetarians.

Swans are Vegetarians

They like Fresh Cut “Untreated” Grass.. put out into the Pond.

Swan Fresh Grass
Grass floats and they can graze on it. Not enough to clog Drains or Spillways.. but, maybe a Gallon or so… just be sure the Mower Bag does NOT contain any MOLD..

Lettuce Play – “Let-Us-Play”

Swans Lettuce

If you toss a Head of Lettuce in the Pond..
they will Play with it like a Soccer Ball.
Fun to Watch them take turns, biting the Head and Tossing it About.

*** Swans are VERY Sensitive to METAL.
Best NOT to Store Feed in a Metal Container, unless it is Lined with
a HEAVY Plastic Bag.. or Kept in the Original Feed Bag.

Swan Lead Zinc

Galvanized Feed Container can contaminate Feed with LEAD and ZINC.
Galvanized Feeders

Keep any small Metal Items Picked-Up. Swans, like other Waterfowl, will Ingest small Stones for their Gizzards.
If they ingest a Screw, Nut, Nail, Piece of Wire, a Coin, Soda Can Tab, Bread Twist Tie, etc.    This may become a Fatal Snack.
Swan Metal Poisoning“Kate” looked Healthy… Died Suddenly within a Week of this Photo.
Her Necropsy found a small piece of Iron in her Gizzard.

The Metal will stay in their Gizzard and slowly Dissolve.
Your Swan will become Heavy Metal Toxic..
Destroying their Liver and other Organs.
Heavy Metal Poisoning is VERY Difficult to Treat.
Vinyl Feed Bucket

Use Clean Dedicated Polyvinyl Containers for Feed Safety.

Every Pond-Lake Situation is Different.
Feeding your Swans can be a Challenge. Brain Storm.

Canadian Geese Pond
If you have a Canadian Goose Problem. They will Raid the Feed.

Ducks Clean-up

Wild Duck can be Helpful as the Clean-up Crew for Feed Spillage.
Fixed Feeders like the Aut-O-Dine have some draw-backs and some advantages.
Swan Feeder

If the Pond Water Level drops, it will be difficult for the Swans to reach in.  OR if the Water Level rises, the Geese will enjoy a feast.

One EASY FEED STATION is to use an Old Tire.
(Pick a Nice One.)  AND a Clean Five Gallon Bucket.
(Take the Handle Off – Tangle Hazard.)

Tire Bucket Feeder
Angle the Bucket as needed for the Swans to Eat from.
There is a Good Chance the Geese and Ducks will not be able to Reach into the Bucket.

Tire Bucket Feeder

The Bucket is Easy to Clean.. and it can be Taken in at Night.

ONLY Feed Swans by your Pond.
Put Feed out in Early AM…. have available during Day.
Normally Swans Graze from SunRise to SunSet.
Feeding Swans

They Float Quietly out in the Water at Night.. trying not to be

Removing Feed Container at SunSet Discourages Predators.
Feeding Swans

Feed-Corn Attracts Mice, Shrews, Moles, Voles, Rats, Muskrats,
Squirrels, Rabbits, Woodchucks, Opossums, Deer, Raccoons.

All these Rodents may be carrying Dangerous
Diseases/Parasites. As they Raid a Feed Container, they
Contaminate the Feed with Saliva, Urine and Poop.
There are some Nasty Diseases carried by Raccoons.
You do not want them “Pooping” where Children will be Playing.

The Smaller Rodents will attract the Carnivores – Fox, Coyotes,
Roaming Feral Cats, Bobcats.
Mouser Barn Kittens
Depending on your Location maybe a Bear would be attracted to a
Feed Container.
Feeding Swans

Feed and/or Small Rodents may attract Skunks, Weasels,
Mink. These may take the small Ducklings, Goslings and

There are ways to Discourage Geese.. a Few Ducks are Good for

An Aut-O-Dine Feeding Box for Swans – Polyvinyl.
Positioned just out of Reach, Canadian Geese can not Feed from this Feeder.

Aut-O-Dine for Swans
Average Cost Varies Year to Year – Out in the Elements these will Need to be Replaced after several Years of Exposure.
They Need a stable Post to be Mounted on..
These need several Modification to work for Swans.

THE FOLLOWING FEED MIX IS FOR Swan Cygnets at least 4-6 months old or older.
THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL BAG FEED in the United States that is Formulated for Swans. You need to Mix for a Healthy Diet.

At one Pond we visited, the Swan was being fed Floating Fish Pellets.
Feeding SwansThe Protein Level in Fish Pellets is 30-40% – WAY TO HIGH ! !
She died before turning 4 Years Old.

Swan Fish Pellets

*** Always ask for “UNMEDICATED /UNTREATED”
Commercial Feed & Corn   Very Important.
***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS ANY FEED with “GROWER” in the name.
***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS “Game Bird Feed”

The Lysine Levels are too HIGH… 
These feeds are designed to increase the muscle tissue
and are for Poultry/ Fowl headed to someone’s dinner table.
These feeds damage internal organs, shortening the natural life span of a Swan. Many birds fed these products will die in 12-36 months.

The unnatural increased muscle tissue will add stress to the Swan’s
legs and feet. This will increase the risk of painful “bumble” foot sores. The Swans may look BIG and HEALTHY.. but, they are not.

***UnCaring Breeders may feed these “Grower” Feeds… without regards to the long term health of the Swans. They just want the Cygnets to grow fast, look BIG and healthy when they sell the young Swan Cygnets. Sadly, the damage is done. They many only live a few years.

When you Acquire a New Swan ASK the Previous Owner/Breeder what they have been Feeding the Swan/Cygnet.
Female Swan Died

Lysine Feed

Keep the Lysine Level at 1.00% or Less.  Swan Feed Mix

Lysine Feed

Horse Feed is for Horses !!  NOT for WaterFowl.
Horse Feeds are Lower in Protein.
And they are TOO Low in Calories to Fiber.
Swans will Starve when Fed Horse Feed.

Swan Horse Feed

*** The Commercial Feed Mix we use is:
Swan Feed Mixture

Mixture of: Southern States 18% Waterfowl Pellets
(OR Southern States Poultry Maintainer Feed)
These Feed Product provide Vitamins, Minerals, Etc.Floating Waterfowl PelletsSouthern States Whole Dried Corn
*** CORN is not a Complete Diet… It is a Supplement.

Commercial Bag Corn

The Following can be added as a Treat: About 10%
Scratch Mixes – Cracked Corn, Wheat, Barley
Crimped Oats, Alfalfa, Rye Grass Seed.
Swan Feed

Start-n-Grow for Cygnets

**Southern States Start-n-Grow for the young Cygnets
( OR Crumble – Specialty Poultry Feed)
This Product has an Antibiotic that will cause Chronic Diarrhea, Malabsorption and the Death of many of the Cygnets.
This is Formulated to help Poultry Chicks deal with Coccidiosis. .


*** FOR SWANs and CYGNETs over 4-6 Months Old.
*** MIX Bag Feed so the Protein % is between 6-8%

60%       Whole Dry Corn
40%      18% Waterfowl Pellets
(OR All Grain Poultry Feed Maintainer).

Whichever you choose mix to the Protein Level of ** 6-8% **

Feed Mix for Swans

The Protein percentage of U.S. Poultry Feed
–                     is TOO HIGH for SWANs.

Duck, Geese, Turkeys all tolerate Protein levels up to 15-20%
***Swans average daily Protein should not exceed 6-8%.

Adjust the Feed Mix by mixing Whole Dry Corn or Scratch Mix.
Adding Lots of Vegetable-Plant Material helps to keep the daily Protein level down.

Feeding Swans

Young Swan Cygnets can develop tendon slippage from a High Protein diet. This can result in “Angel Wing” deformity.
Angel Wing
With diet adjustment and a little luck this can be corrected before a young Swan is 18-24 months old. (A little Body Banding may Help.)

A High Protein diet will cause a Fatty Liver- Lipidosis to
develop.  May damage the Swan’s kidneys, both will eventually be fatal.

Most Extruded Poultry Feeds dissolve sitting in water.
It is more efficient when using these products to place the mixture in a container/bowl.

Bowl For Swan Feed

Any Feed put out for Swans should be checked daily.
SWAN FRESH Daily Poultry Feeds
In the Summer it spoils very easily if it gets wet.
Spoiled/Soured Feed can make a Swan very sick.

Rainy Day Corn
If it is going to rain… I only put Whole Corn out.
In Cold weather spoiling is not as much a Problem.

The Floating Waterfowl Pellets will Float for over 24 Hours.
There is very little Waste.   ( YEAH ! )

Crimped Oats FloatFloating Waterfowl PelletsFloating Waterfowl Pellets

(Adding a little Crimped Oats is a floating treat.)

Add a Tablespoon of Corn Oil to the Winter Feed Mixture.

Around Mid-January consider starting Feed formulated for Egg Layers. Mix a Cup into the Daily ration.

Crushed Boiled Egg Shells

I save my Hard Boiled Egg Shells.. and Crush them. I add a Tablespoon to a Gallon of Feed Mix. When I see white Calcium in their Poop, I know I have added enough.
SWAN POOP Excreted Calcium

Poop Tells its own Story. Learn what Normal Swan Poop Looks like.
It varies GREATLY with their Diet.
Occasionally, look for any signs of Parasite.  Things that Wiggle !!
Watch for Persistent Wet Sloppy Waste – Diarrhea.  ???
There are MANY possibilities.
Check with your Veterinarian.. see if they will do a Stool Work-up.
Sample needs to be Fresh. Their Lab will give you instructions.

Crimped Oats Float

I have started to add a small amount of Crimped Oats to the Corn tossed into the water. It floats and is nice for the Swans to graze. This is not practical where a current just carries the Oats away.

Swans are very messy, wasteful eaters.
The Floating Pellets have less waste.

Feeding Winter Swans

Swans need 30% more food during Cold Weather Months.
If there is a small amount left after 24 hours, or at end of day they are getting enough.

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger February 2018
These Commercial Feed Prices are an Average
for 2015-2018 
In Central Pennsylvania.

Average/General Cost of Commercial Feed Products
Aug. 2017

Quotes from Davis Agway in Mechanicsburg.
40 Pounds
– Southern States 18% Floating Waterfowl Pellets $ 14-15.00
50 Pounds – Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance $ 40-50.00
Mazuri Waterfowl Feed has been Popular for many Years.

Mazuri Waterfowl Feed
50 Pounds – Poultry Maintainer (unMedicated) $ 15-18.00

Feed for Swans
50 Pounds – Scratch (Cracked Corn & Wheat) $ 15.00
50 Pounds – Crimped Oats $ 16-18.00
50 Pounds – Whole Corn (shelled) $ 8-14.00

50 Pound of Crumble for the Cygnets $ 16-17.00
25 Pound Southern States Start-n-Grow for Tiny Cygnets $ 15.00
Average Annual Usage for Two Adult Mute Swans

2 – Bags of Poultry Maintainer $ 36.00
2 – Bags of Waterfowl Floating Pellets $ 30.00
1 – Bags of Scratch $ 15.00
1 – Bag of Crimped Oats $ 17.00
2 – Bags of Whole Shell Corn $ 24.00
Addition Expenses if there are Cygnets in the Spring.
2 – 25 Pound Start-n-Grow for Cygnets       $30.00
1 – 50 Pound of Crumble for the Cygnets $ 16-17.00

Healthy Pinioned Cygnets 6-10 months old can be SOLD for:
$100 – 150 – 200 – 350.00
Depends on the Number available for Sale.


Mute Swans Mating

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans Mating - (0 Comments)

Mute Swans Mating

The Beautiful Mating Ballet of Swans 

Mute Swans Mating